The defense establishment held exercises simulating multi-faceted terrorist attacks on Sunday. Thousands of soldiers, police and medical personnel around the country were involved in the drill, especially along the border with Egypt and Syria, and forced to respond to extreme security scenarios.
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The surprise exercise began with 'intelligence warnings' of terrorist cells identified with the global Islamic Jihad planning to carry out large-scale attacks by infiltrating into Israel, entering towns, killing civilians, taking over buildings and taking hostages. Among other things, Sayeret Matkal and special police forces practiced taking control of civilian buildings – including the dining room of a hotel holding dozens of ‘kidnapped’ civilians.
War room practice (Photo: IDF Spokesperson)
According to a senior IDF source, the exercise included dozens of civilian ‘fatalities’ and around 10 soldiers who were ‘killed’ during the operation. The drill was aimed at running through relevant scenarios, updating orders, testing the skill of security forces, and facilitating the transfer of forces from location to location. "Above all,” the source said, "it was about cooperation and a common language between different security agencies while stripping down ego and taking military forces from zero to the edge.
"The goal was to practice scenarios similar to those seen at kidnappings in Algeria. We have a lot to work on and improve, especially the small details and the standing emergency orders,” he said.
The source added that only about four hours passed between initially being informed of the events, and getting an assessment of the situation. “This is very a very likely scenario,” he said.
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